The fourth generation Supreme Sound Op-amp was developed in collaboration with some of the world’s most passionate musicians, sound engineers and recording artists and the results were beyond our wildest expectations. Like a photographer’s favorite lens, it’s being used by recording artists around the world to better capture special moments that last forever.
The op-amps used in any output stage are as important as the lens on a movie projector; inferior op-amps distort audio signals regardless of the analytical capability of the associated audio gear. This has even more impact when you consider that most IC op-amps cost less than a can of soda! Replacing underperforming op-amps with slightly more expensive IC-based op-amps noticeably improves performance yet manufacturers often go for the cheaper op-amp anyway. That is not the Supreme Sound way. Learn More [+]
The question arises, why don’t popular high-performance brands adopt better op-amps or just design their own customized discrete op-amps? The answer is simple, money. Profit margins are tight and some manufacturers lower their production costs at the expense of quality sound.
It’s certainly true that ICs are cheap and plugging an IC op-amp into a PCB simplifies the entire design, assembly and quality-control process. But IC op-amps have so many faults they’re really just unsuitable for audio applications.
- Not designed with a focus on sonic performance
- Highly inconsistent in quality
- Poorly construced and degrade the signal on all levels
- Suffer significantly from EMI
Supreme Sound Opamps
We love music and it’s always been our philosophy to enhance sound quality wherever possible. The only way to overcome IC op-amp problems is to replace them with well-designed discrete circuitry.
The foundation of the Supreme Sound Op-Amp is a sophisticated voltage differential amplification network. The entire discrete op-amp is constructed with audio-grade transistors and resistors that ensure minimal coloration and maximum dynamics. But that also posed the challenge of producing them with very tight component-matching.
We only uses 0.5%-tolerance resistors and before soldering them onto the PCB we put them in a component burn-in module. After 50 hours each resistor is retested and hand-matched before proceeding to our assembly line. This results in a another 10% rejection rate but this strict and admittedly expensive burn and match process ensures stability of the circuit and a perfect sonic balance across the entire frequency range. At the same time it guarantees a stable and palpable soundstage from speakers or headphones.
We also spec top-quality lead-free solder and a temperature-controlled soldering process. This was the only way to reduce heat stress on the components and minimizing short circuits caused by soldering baths used in large-scale production.
Cost-focused manufacturers have a hard time adopting such an approach but there are many now who demand the Supreme Sound Op-Amps’ level of quality, the best op-amp anywhere.
Listening to an IC op-amp is like hearing a concert through a keyhole, or admiring the Mona Lisa on a stamp! The resolution and texture of the Supreme Sound Op-Amp completely surpasses IC op-amps of any other kind. The SS op-amp provides more texture and nuance, more refined detail and dynamics. The bass is superbly well controlled and punchy. Double basses clearly take shape in a very three-dimensional soundstage. Classical music reproduction becomes much more realistic and spacious, string sections becoming a group of individual musicians rather than just a homogenized blur. The SS op-amp is an extremely listenable and engaging performer that brings the joy of music to your soul.
- Identify the op-amp inside your component.
- Is it an 8-pin IC chip like the one below highlighted in red?
- Take note of the model number of the op-amp highlighted in yellow
- Take note of the pin-1 indicator with a half-cut circle highlighted in blue
- Determine if you need a dual-SS op-amp or a single-SS op-amp
The SS Opamp is directly replaceable with the following opamps
AD823, AD823AN, AD8066, AD8620, AD712, AD827, C4570, JRC4580, JRC5532, JRC5532D, JRC5534, LF353, LM4562, LME49860, LM833N, MUSES8920, NE5532, NEC4520, NEC4570, NJM2068D, NJM2114, NJM2214D, NJM4558, NJM4558D, NJM4560, NJM5532, NJM4558P, OP275, OPA1612, OPA2277PA, OPA2132, OPA2134, OPA2604, JRC4558, RC4558D, RC4558P, TL052, TL072
NE5534, LT1122, OPA134, OPA627, AD811, AD844, OPA604, AD8610, AD797, LME49990, LME49710
Optional Tweaks for your SS Opamp
V4 SS Opamp Data Sheet